The Andrew J. Brady Music Center
October 20, 2023
Review by E.B.
I got a few pictures of the iconic John Roebling suspension bridge (1867),
(the pre-cursor of Ye Olde Brooklyn Bridge!), under dramatic low hanging
blue gray clouds complimenting the just turning colorful fall leaves on the
trees by the river.
A week ago we hit 78 degrees with sunny skies, but this day started out
rainy and chilly, with lows in the 40's, it wasn't going to snow but you
could feel the change in the weather, luckily it wasn't going to be
Tonight's event was at The Andrew J. Brady Music Center with indoor
seating capacity of 4,500 and an outdoor venue with a capacity of 8,000.
We were indoors tonight at "The Banks" of the Ohio River adjacent to
the sports stadiums.
Nearby is The Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame, featuring founding
inductees (2021) Bootsy Collins, Otis Williams and The Charms, Dr. Charles
Fold, and The Isley Brothers; (2022) Hi-Tek, Midnight Star, Penny Ford,
Wilbert Longmire; (2023) James Brown, Louise Shropshire, Philippe
Wynne, and The Deele.
Thanks to Wikipedia I learned The Brady Music Center is named for a local
musician, music teacher, orchestra and band director (b. 1/3/1915,
d. 1/10/2004). He was known for his "Bandwagon Variety Shows and
football halftime shows."
With two upper balconies and a floor level facing a raised stage, the rows
of connected folding seats made for a tight fit for the capacity Sold Out
It amazes me that patrons felt the need to constantly get up and make
"beer runs" during a two hour performance which makes the entire row
of people have to get to their feet to allow them out, and then of course,
back in again. This type of constant activity caused beer cups and cans of
White Claw, which were set on the floor, to get kicked over and some kids
with a mop and a large mop-bucket were called to our section more than
once. Good thing it's a cement floor! Yonder phone bags were used for
tonight's event so we, at least, were not disturbed by constant phone use.
I think this venue had good sound, surprisingly, but the last time I saw Bob
in Cincinnati it was at the Aronoff Theater in 2021 and that was a more
sophisticated setting. This time around the touring broadway show: "The
Girl from the North Country", "the Tony Award winning #1 Musical of the
Year, re-imagining 20 legendary songs of Bob Dylan" was playing at the
I bet no one was kicking over beer and calling for the mop and bucket
brigade over there!
Our show at The Brady Music Center was well received by a committed,
attentive and thoughtful audience but with no room to get up and dance
(except for a few ladies who got up to dance and wave their hands in the
air) we got to our feet in ovation after a rousing Gotta Serve Somebody
and a few more times.
The highlights for me were: A delightfully rendered Every Grain of Sand
(with Bob on harp!) as the finale, ... and the biggest and most pleasant
surprise of the evening was "South of Cincinnati" (a song by Dwight
Yoakum) performed in the #15 (of 18) slot. After a brief huddle of the
musicians center stage with Bob at the piano, they all dived right in on
this gem. I was not familiar with this song but I distinctly heard "Cincinnati"
quite well and that got a big cheer from the audience each time it came
up (it comes up a lot!)... as well as cheers on any mention of the Ohio
river. I actually got teary eyed to think we got such a nice and unexpected
gift from Bob and the band. "We love you, Bob!" as everyone nearby
shouted to the stage more than once tonight. He knows, he knows.
After Every Grain of Sand, a standing ovation and cheers received with
humble bows on stage and the lights go down on another "Don't You
Dare Miss it!" night with Bob and his band of brothers.
Thank you, Bob.
Cincinnati loves you.
Keep on keepin' on.
Review by Tom Burke
Bob Dylan brought his Fall 2023 iteration of his Rough and Rowdy Ways
Tour to Cincinnati, Ohio last night (October 20, 2023) playing before a
sold out audience at the Andrew J. Brady Music Center. Sauntering on
stage at 8:00 pm straight up, Dylan took his place at his black baby
grand piano located at centerstage, sat down, placed a white gambler's
hat atop his head, and then launched into, the appropriate, given the
Brady Center's location literally on the north bank of the mighty Ohio
River, Watching the River Flow.
Dylan remained at the piano for the duration of show alternating
between standing and sitting as he played. Either way, and no matter
the song, his playing was strong, spirited, energetic, at times emphatic,
other times rollicking, and provided the signature sound and musical
centerpiece of the concert/show.
Dylan mixed in some gems from his back pages (When I Paint My
Masterpiece, I'll be Your Baby Tonight, and Mostly You Go Your Way
(And I'll Go Mine)) among 9 cuts from the Rough and Rowdy Ways
album during the 1 hour and 45 minute set.
Dylan's singing throughout the show was outstanding as he delivered
strong, crisp, and emotive vocals.
Band highlights included Doug Lancio's driving electric guitar on Gotta
Serve Somebody and, no surprise here, Tony Garnier's fantastic bass
playing, in particular, his work on the stand up bass on several numbers,
which was worth the price of admission in itself.
As has become the custom on most of the the stops on the Fall 2023
tour, the setlist included a song specifically relevant to the night's venue.
This night Dylan performed a wonderful cover of Dwight Yoakum's sweet
classic, South of Cincinnati; of course, the packed house loved it.
Dylan provided one final show highlight, playing an extended and
beautiful harp/harmonica piece, during the show's closer, Every Grain
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